Colombia’s second largest rebel group, the ELN, said Monday it has kidnapped two Germans in northern Colombia.
In a message posted on the rebels’ website, the ELN leadership said the foreigners were kidnapped by ELN rebels in the northern Catatumbo region weeks ago already.
“Units of the ELN captured in the Catatumbo region the gentlemen ‘Breur Uwe’ y ‘Breuer Günther Otto,’ of supposed German nationality.”
SOURCE: ELN statement
German state broadcasting agency DW reported the alleged victims’ names are “Uwe and Günther Otto Breuer.”
“In the weeks they have been detained, they have not been able to justify their presence and are thus, until now, considered intelligence officials,” the ELN statement said.
According to the rebels, “spies are not protected by International Humanitarian Law.”
In a video posted on YouTube the same day, ELN leader “Gabino” said that “peace is not an easy road, but it is necessary to take it, we are ready to do it.”
The German embassy in Bogota would not comment to Spanish press agency EFE “out of respect and in the interest of those affected.”
The ELN, with some 2,500 armed members, has so far been denied access to the ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and larger rebel group FARC in Havana, Cuba.
Earlier this year, the guerrilla group kidnapped two Peruvians and a Canadian also in the north of Colombia.